Communication on IPV6. Council Conclusions (Preparation of the Telecom Council 18 June)

June 18, 2002

Brussels, 17 June 2002


The European Council at its meeting in Lisbon on March 2000, set the objective for Europe to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world. A comprehensive Action Plan "eEurope 2002" defined the necessary measures to accomplish the objective of "An Information Society for All" and identified three main objectives: a cheaper, faster and secure Internet; investing in people and skills and stimulating the use of the Internet.

During 2001 the IPv6 Task Force ( ) launched by European Commission with the full support from industry developed a comprehensive action plan aiming at ensuring the timely availability of IPv6. This Task Force has completed its first work phase and issued a series of reports and recommendations. The second phase of the IPv6 Task Force is planned to kick-off next September 2002, with a view to accelerate the pace of the introduction of IPv6.

One of the recommendations of the IPv6 Task Force is to take actions to stimulate the wide spread use of Internet across Europe and encourage the transition to towards IPv6, notably in the context of 3G mobile communications, by avoiding fragmented approaches or mandatory time-lines. This is stressed in the recent IPv6 Communication ( doc.htm , February 2002) from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament "Next Generation Internet priorities for action in migrating to the new Internet protocol IPv6". The Barcelona Summit (March 2002) also recognised IPv6 as a priority issue and "attaches priority to the widespread availability and use of broadband networks throughout the Union by 2005 and the development of Internet Protocol IPv6".

At this Council

The Council is to reach an agreement on a series of conclusions on "the transition to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)". These conclusions will provide a much necessary complement to the statements of the European Council of March 2002 (Barcelona).

In brief, the conclusions:

Should stress the need to remove obstacles to facilitate the transition to IPv6

Should encourage the Member States to facilitate the efforts of stakeholders regarding the adoption and the deployment of IPv6, to monitor and assess the current development and take-up of IPv6, and to facilitate, inter alia by enabling IPv6, the integration of research networks with European-wide networks (e.g. GEANT)

Should welcome the Commission's intention to support RTD in the context of the 6th Framework programme related to the deployment of IPv6 in fixed and wireless network infrastructures and in advanced infrastructures for Research (e.g. GEANT and Grids)

Should support the Commission's intention to renew the mandate of the IPv6 Task Force by:

Enhancing co-operation with international standardisation organisations, industry associations and Internet Governance bodies

Providing a review and "European IPv6 Roadmap" on the development and future perspectives of IPv6, including guidelines for transition from IPv4 to IPv6

Establishing collaboration arrangements and working relationships with similar initiatives being launched in other regions of the world.

Invite the Commission to evaluate the social impact on society, citizens and businesses of the implementation of IPv6 and to investigate security issues related to IPv6

Invite the private sector:

To consider initiatives aimed at the integration of IPv6 infrastructures, including the interoperability aspects of IPv6 services and applications

To participate actively in the establishment of a European wide, vendor-independent, training and education programme on IPv6

To provide regularly updated information on the increased demand for IP addresses and the current status of IP4 address space

To actively contribute towards on-going IPv6 work within standards and specification bodies

To fully participate in R&D activities in the context of the 6th Framework Programme, notably in the large scale tests of IPv6 based services and applications.

DN: MEMO/02/141 Date: 17/06/2002
(Per Haugaard, Amelia Torres)

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